Monday, January 10, 2011

A very different - and very special Bat Mitzvah

This past weekend was a very special one for the Henry family, and for me too. It was the day that Analise celebrated her Bat Mitzvah and another special day for this special family. As you can tell from the images below, this is not your typical Jewish family. Heck, this is not your typical family!

Lets start with Karen and Penni. I was lucky enough to photograph their wedding a couple of years ago when gay marriages were allowed in California. On that day, they introduced me to their three adopted children (all siblings from another mother). They told me in advance that the kids were a little shy and may be tough to photograph. But when I met them, all I saw were these really nice kids who needed to get to know me and trust me, before I turned a camera in their direction.
(Photographers note: It is really important to get to know the people you are photographing before you spend the day with them. Your knowledge of them, and the comfort that you establish, will ultimately help you take better pictures. Both of you will be more relaxed and it will show in your images.)

The Henry family is not only a same sex marriage, not only are they bi-racial, not only did they adopt three kids, they are also Jewish. Now that is different - and they celebrate that! As the Rabbi said during the Bat Mitzvah, "this family has chosen to be a part of every minority group." I quickly pulled out my iPhone and wrote that down because it describes them so perfectly.

Analise looked great for her big day. We were lucky enough to have overcast skies, so I could shoot outside with no harsh shadows.
I love taking this "Yad Shot" with the 50mm 1.4 lens wide open. I have taken this many times, but wanted to highlight Analise's darker skin over the Torah. Why? Because it was a first for me and different from the norm. Love that!

Analise walking with the Torah.

This was a really touching moment between Rabbi Magat, who is a good friend of the family, and Analise.

Half way through the service, while scanning the crowd in the sanctuary, I saw this cute little girl in her mother's arms. She had this great expression and I grabbed a couple of shots before she turned away. (Photographers note: When photographing an event like this, always make sure to look around for the "other shots". We tend to get very fixated on the main subjects in front of us, but if you focus too much on the obvious, you miss moments like this.)

1 comment:

Judee said...

That's me with my girl, Eleanor, a future Bat Mitzvah, I hope!!